Scene Set For Shepparton Cup Thriller

JUST two lengths separated the five Shepparton Cup heat winners on Monday night, setting up an engrossing final to the group 2 feature this Saturday.

Adam Dobbin

16 March 2021

JUST two lengths separated the five Shepparton Cup heat winners on Monday night, setting up an engrossing final to the group 2 feature this Saturday night.

Setting the time-standard for the $47,000-to-the-winner final was the Brett Nye-trained Barooga Smoke, the big striding son of Fernando Bale defeating red hot favourite Tiggerlong Tonk by 1 ¾ lengths in 24.94.

Having missed a place just twice in his 25 start career, Barooga Smoke headed into Monday night’s assignment following a fantastic last start second to Shima Shine in the Group 2 Horsham Cup Final.

The opening heat on Monday night produced a minor upset with Group 2 Laurels winner Aston Gwen scoring for trainer Ben Magri in 25.06.

The daughter of Fernando Bale led from go to whoa to surge into another group race final where she’ll exit box six in Saturday night’s blockbuster final.

The second qualifier loomed as a two-dog blockbuster between Papi Go Fast and Music Event and that’s how it played out with Papi Go Fast prevailing by three-quarters of a length in 25.05.

Trained by Rob Camilleri, Papi Go Fast, named after Melbourne Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen, is still yet to miss a place in his 27 start career.

He’ll exit box three in the final while Music Event, winner of the Western Districts Derby (at Geelong) recently, will exit box one, the same draw he had to win the Listed feature.

Heat three saw sprinting heavyweight Catch The Thief resume his racing career under the care of Jason Thompson.


Reports were the son of Aussie Infrared had been trialling the house down in preparation for his racetrack return and he didn’t disappoint, producing a polished first up display to score in 25.01.

A 10-time group race finalist, boasting wins in the WA Derby and Warragul St. Leger, Catch The Thief has drawn box two for Saturday night’s final where he’ll look to deliver Thompson a fifth Shepparton Cup.

The fifth and final heat on Monday night was annexed by Dave Geall’s sprinting star Ferdinand Boy in 24.99.

Winner at 15 of his 28 starts, Ferdinand Boy took out the Warrnambool Derby (450m) in late January and will line-up for his first group race final on Saturday night ideally drawn out in box eight.

Joining the five heat winners in the final will be Benchester (25.057sec), Tiggerlong Tonk (25.059sec) and Music Event (25.101), qualifying as the three fastest second placegetters.

BOX DRAW: Group 2 Shepparton Cup Final (450m)
Saturday, March 20

1. Music Event
2. Catch The Thief
3. Papi Go Fast
4. Benchester
5. Barooga Smoke
6. Aston Gwen
7. Tiggerlong Tonk
8. Ferdinand Boy


Shepparton Cup Honour Roll

1973 Garner Bin, 1974 Morning Glow, 1975 Tivashley, 1976 Marungi Boy, 1977 Near History, 1978 Relle Louise, 1979 Mannerism, 1980 Proven Bold, 1981 First Question, 1982 Golden Impulse, 1983 Blue Echo, 1984 Blitzem Bill, 1985 Thorgil Magic, 1986 Thorgil Magic, 1987 Nan’s Pal, 1988 Fantasy Boy, 1989 Pure Talent, 1990 Highly Blessed, 1991 Bomber Gleeson, 1992 Master Giant, 1993 Head Honcho, 1994 Thorgil Tex, 1995 Hanson Diamond, 1996 Bahama Image, 1997 World Title, 1998 Ashigga, 1999 Star Of Mine, 2000 Kantarn Bale, 2001 Salong Bale, 2002 Knockabout Wok, 2003 Puzzle Prize, 2004 Whisky Assassin, 2005 not run, 2006 Slater, 2007 Overflow Breaker, 2008 Hanify’s Impact, 2009 Gardam Prince, 2010 Din’s Son, 2011 El Grand Senor, 2012 Blackall’s Boss and 2013 Paw Licking, (2014 Not Held), 2015 Azza Azza Azza 2016 (February) Gotta Get Back (September) Aston Bolero, 2017 Zinzan Brooke, 2018 Peter Galo, 2019 Not Held, 2020 Hard Style Rico.